More Artist Studio Space Coming to Franklinton
The owners of 400 West Rich plan to convert an 18,000 square-foot former factory building just down the street into more artist studios. The East Franklinton Review Board approved the renovation plan for 289 West Walnut Street in December.
The building – which served as a metals extrusion and fabrication plant for the B&T Metals Company from 1944 to the mid-80’s – would be transformed into 25 first-floor artist studios along with additional artist work space on the smaller, existing second floor.
400 West Rich Project Manager Chris Sherman said that the new studios will be similar to those offered at the 400 building, but with more square-footage to meet the demand from artists for larger spaces.
“The building physically is a bit different,” he said. “The ceiling height is 21 feet from floor to the underside of the deck, which has its advantages and disadvantages… we looked at adding a second floor inside the existing structure but it proved to be cost-prohibitive.”
Sherman said that work has already begun to put a new roof of the building. Interior work awaits permitting from the city, but the goal for completion of the project is this summer. A small parking lot for cars and bikes will also be added, on the western side of the building.
“We could have demolished the building and built new,” Sherman added, “but we believe in preserving what’s left of the historic fabric in the neighborhood.”
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More information can be found online at 400westrich.com.
Additional building photos provided by Chris Sherman.